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Common household dangers

Many common household items can pose a threat to animal companions. Even some items specifically meant for pets could cause health problems. To protect your pet, simply use common sense and take the same precautions you would with a child. Although rodent poisons and insecticides are the most common sources of companion animal poisoning, the following list of less common but potentially toxic agents should be avoided if at all possible:

– Antifreeze that contains ethylene glycol has a sweet taste that attracts animals but is deadly if consumed in even small quantities; one teaspoon can kill a seven-pound cat. The Humane Society of the United States recommends pet owners use a safe antifreeze in their vehicles. Look for antifreeze that contains propylene glycol, which is safe for animals if ingested in small amounts.

– Chemicals used on lawns and gardens, such as fertilizer and plant food, can be easily accessible and fatal to a pet allowed in the yard unsupervised.

– Cedar and other soft wood shavings, including pine, emit fumes that may be dangerous to small mammals like hamsters and gerbils.

– Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, cats, and ferrets.

– licked off. Paws should be washed and dried as soon as the animal comes in from the snow. Other options include doggie boots with Velcro straps to protect Fido’s feet, and making cats indoor pets.

– Insect control products, such as the insecticides used in many over-the-counter flea and tick remedies, may be toxic to companion animals. Prescription flea and tick control products are much safer and more effective. Pet owners should never use any product without first consulting a veterinarian.

– Fumes from nonstick cooking surfaces and self-cleaning ovens can be deadly to birds. Always be cautious when using any pump or aerosol spray around birds.

– Human medications such as pain killers (including aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen), cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, anti-depressants, vitamins, and diet pills can all be toxic to animals. Keep medication containers and tubes of ointments and creams away from pets who could chew through them, and be vigilant about finding and disposing of any dropped pills.

– Leftovers such as chicken bones easily shatter and can choke a cat or dog. Other human foods to keep away from pets include onions and onion powder; alcoholic beverages; yeast dough; coffee grounds and beans; salt; macadamia nuts; tomato, potato, and rhubarb leaves and stems; avocados (toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle, and dairy goats); and anything with mold growing on it.

– Poisonous household plants include azalea, geraniums, dieffenbachia (dumb cane), mistletoe, philodendron, and poinsettia among others.

– Rawhide doggie chews may be contaminated with salmonella, which can infect pets and humans who come in contact with the chews. These kinds of chews should only be offered to a pet with supervision, as they can pose a choking hazard as well.

– String, yarn, rubber bands, and even dental floss are easy to swallow and can cause intestinal blockages or strangulation.

– Toys with removable parts – like squeaky toys or stuffed animals with plastic eyes – can pose a choking hazard to animals. Take the same precautions with pets as you would with a small child.

For more information about common household dangers, see The American Veterinary Medical Association’s Pet Owner’s Guide to Common Small Animal Poisons.

The HSUS recommends that pet owners use all household products with caution, and keep a pet first-aid kit and manual readily available. The HSUS puts out a first-aid book in conjunction with the American Red Cross entitled Pet First Aid: Cats and Dogs. If all of your precautions fail and you believe that your pet has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary service immediately. Signs of poisoning include listlessness, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, lack of coordination, and fever.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center operates a hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 888-426-4435 or 900-680-0000 for a fee of $45 per case. If you call, you should be prepared with the following information: the name of the poison your animal was exposed to, the amount and how long ago; the species, breed, age, sex, and weight of your pet; and the symptoms the animal is displaying. You’ll also be asked to provide your name, address, phone number, and credit card information.

Courtesy of the HSUS


December 25, 2007 Posted by | Pet health | Leave a comment

Meals on Wheels Pet Food Drive

November 29, 2007 : 3:33 PM

For more than 30 years, Meals On Wheels has been helping thousands of seniors remain independent and in their own homes.

Many homebound individuals are somewhat isolated from the outside world. For these people, owning a pet can be especially meaningful; they act as friends, entertainers, ease loneliness, and can improve the quality of their life. The daily responsibilities of pet ownership, however, can be difficult.

“A lot of seniors can’t afford to purchase pet food,” said Angela Spain, the Nutrition Program Manager with Idaho’s Central District Health. “More than half of the Meal on Wheels recipients in the Treasure Valley have a pet and we have noticed that many of them share their meals with their animals because they are unable to provide appropriate pet food.”

Meals on Wheels supports the idea that pets provide love, companionship, and improve quality of life for their owners. During the month of December, Meal on Wheels has teamed up with Banfield, the Pet Hospital, to accept donations of pet food to help make a healthier life for homebound seniors and their pet.

What you can do:
Donate new and unopened bags or cans of dog or cat food at Banfield, located inside the Petsmart stores.

Banfield locations:
Meridian, ID
1220 N Eagle Rd, Meridian, ID, 83642

Twin Falls, ID
1505 Blue Lakes Blvd, Twin Falls, ID, 83301

Northern Idaho / Spokane
15615 E. Broadway Ave., Spokane Valley, WA, 99037
9950 N. Newport Highway , Spokane, WA, 99218

Donations are being accepted until December 30th.

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Dog’s Christmas Promise

 For The Love of a Dog:

December 13, 2007 | By Admin In Dog Writing & Poetry, Just for Fun |

Christmas tree with giftsChristmas is for humans, and I will not ruin the
surprises by opening all their presents.

Christmas light bulbs, Christmas ornaments, Christmas
stockings, and tinsel from the Christmas tree are not food.

I am the alpha dog, therefore I do not need to protect
my new Christmas rawhide from the omega dog by
taking it outside to eat when the wind chill is -10 F.

I will not demolish the Christmas tree and drag the
string of lights out into the backyard through the doggy door.Dog

I will not dive into the Christmas tree to get the
candy canes (which I will eat — paper and all).

I will not eat my Christmas doggie treats until after
they’re out of the stocking!

I will not even THINK about going underneath the
Christmas tree and piddling on the dining room rug.

dogI will not get into a fight with the bigger dog next
door, making my human have to call the vet’s at Christmas.

I will not get tangled up in the Christmas tree lights
and pull the tree down while trying to get at a cat
through the conservatory window.

I will not pee on Grandma’s Christmas presents that
are under her tree as soon as we enter her house.Christmas presents

I will not pee on the Christmas tree.

I will not steal the neighbor’s Christmas light bulbs.

The bowl underneath the Christmas tree is not a dog
dish. I will not drink from it. It will make me sick.

If you appreciate my work, why don’t you buy my dog a bone? 🙂
It is only through the kind and generous donations of those who care that I can continue my work, raise awareness and be a voice for those who have no voice of their own.

December 14, 2007 Posted by | misc K-9 | Leave a comment

Menu Foods Does Not Disclose Results of Pet Food Testing, No Response to Media

 Itchmo RSS Feed: 

Posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2007 at 3:00 pm in News for Cats, Dogs & Owners, National Dog, Cat & Pet Info, Dogs, Cats, Other Pets.
By Emily Huh

On Monday, Menu Foods released a statement on their website stating that UC Davis recently tested pet food samples and found no traces of acetaminophen.

Although Menu Foods did not publicly disclose their negative test results from UC Davis. Also, the company refused to answer questions from ConsumerAffairs.com when asked about the samples of cat food they tested.

Carol, a pet owner who had Special Kitty food tested by Expertox after her cats became extremely ill and Itchmo reader, said, “I don’t trust them and I think they’re hiding something.”

She added, “That company poisoned my animals and they have the gall to refer to my lab results as a ‘recycled claim.’ This company made money off my animals for years and now they’ve poisoned my pets. How dare they belittle them . . . it’s so insulting.”

ConsumerAffairs.com asked Menu Foods why the company still had samples of recalled Special Kitty Food and how it disposes of recalled products. But Menu Foods did not respond to their questions.

Menu Foods does eventually respond to ConsumerAffairs.com in a written statement. The company said it will not disclose its test results and that they have already provided a summary of the lab’s findings on their website.

Menu Foods added in their statement, “The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at the University of California Davis (”UC Davis”) tested products with date and time codes in close proximity to those identified in the ExperTox (report) – ensuring the products tested by UC Davis were manufactured and filled from the same ingredient sources as those identified in the ExperTox report. Acetaminophen was non-detectable in all three samples.”

In response to a question of why the company still has recalled food in their possession, the company stated, “Menu Foods is a defendant in ongoing litigation related to the recall, and currently cannot dispose of recalled product. Prior to the March recall, Menu has never before been involved in a food safety recall and as such, has no experience in ‘doing’ anything with its recalled product. At such time as Menu Foods is permitted to dispose of the product recalled this spring, it will do so in accordance with FDA guidelines.”

Menu also said that they could not contact Carol in regards to the cat food she tested, the cat food the company tested, or any information related to her claim because of a federal court order. But Carol has not filed a claim or taken any legal action against the company.

Source: ConsumerAffairs.com

(Thanks menusux and Carol)

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Feline Health, Feline Nutrition, K-9 Nutrition, K9 Health, Recall | 1 Comment

AVMA Releases Statement In Regards To Lead In Pet Toys

Itchmo RSS FeedPosted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2007 at 8:00 am in News for Cats, Dogs & Owners, National Dog, Cat & Pet Info, Dogs, Cats, Other Pets, Pet Food Recalls & Safety.
By Emily Huh

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Cat NipThe American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently released a statement about labs finding lead in pet toys.

Here is the press release:

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is concerned about recent reports of lead contamination in toys.

Independent tests by Trace Laboratories, Inc. in Illinois and ExperTox Analytical Laboratories in Texas have both found the presence of lead and other toxic chemicals on randomly selected toys purchased in American stores. The highest level of lead found was 30,000 parts per million (ppm) in the paint on a pet toy. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforces a federal standard for lead in paint intended for children’s products, which is 600 ppm, according to CPSC spokesperson Ed Kang, but there is no federal standard for lead in pet toys.

Dr. Mike Murphy, a veterinary toxicologist at the University of Minnesota, said that owners should be careful about lead exposure in pets, but warns that there are far more toxic sources of lead in many households. Old, lead paint is roughly 30 to 40 percent lead and can still be found in some older homes. Solder, fishing weights, curtain weights, and some older molded-metal toys may be made entirely of lead and should be kept out of reach from pets and children.

“If your pet is chewing and swallowing a toy then maybe that’s not something you should allow the animal to play with,” Dr. Murphy said.

Dr. Frederick Oehme, professor of toxicology and diagnostic medicine at Kansas State University, said symptoms of lead poisoning are vague in pets but can include a slightly anorexic appearance and a slight loss of appetite, slight behavior changes that include twitching, and whining while sleeping. In more advanced cases of lead poisoning, there are neurological symptoms that include mild to severe seizures. Dr. Oehme said if symptoms are present in your pet, consult your veterinarian for a diagnosis.

“Veterinarians are in a very unique position because, when they see lead poisoning in a pet, the veterinarian can then ask if other members of the family—particularly children—have been checked for lead poisoning since they live in the same environment,” he said. “I’ve seen a dog that tested with high levels of lead … from lead soldering, and, when the owner was tested for lead, he also had high blood levels of lead.”

Dr. Steven Hansen, director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), which operates a hotline that serves all of North America, said that the APCC has received over 200,000 calls over the last two years and none were related to a toy causing in lead poisoning in a pet. Dr. Hansen said that while there is little research on the cognitive or behavioral impact of long term exposure to low lead concentrations in pets, as exists in humans, the use of lead-based paint is inappropriate on any toy.

“To reassure pet owners, we encourage manufacturers to test pet products for lead and other contaminants and post findings on their corporate websites,” Dr. Hansen said.

Dr. Murphy advises that the best place for information on lead in pet toys is your veterinarian. He or she can offer expert advice on animal health or direct you to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory to have a toy tested if deemed necessary. Veterinary diagnostic laboratories can also be located through the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians at http://www.aavld.org/mc/page.do.

Source: AVMA

(Thanks menusux)

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Feline Health, K9 Health, Recall | Leave a comment

Cat and Mouse Picture: Today Must Be My Lucky Day

Itchmo RSS Feed:

Posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2007 at 3:58 am in Art & Pictures of Cats & Dogs, National Dog, Cat & Pet Info, Cats, Other Pets, Funny Cats & Dogs.
By Emily Huh

Cat and Mouse

Okay, almost there… just a little higher and I can make my escape. Thank goodness this cat is the densest cat alive.

December 14, 2007 Posted by | pictures | Leave a comment

Cats in Need of Good Homes!!!

 Seattle Humane: 

BELLEVUE, WA (December 13, 2007) –  This season, with every shelter filled to the brim with fabulous felines, anyone thinking about adding a cat to their family can make a huge difference by giving an orphaned cat (or two) a home before the holidays. All these fabulous felines want from Santa Paws is a loving home of their own!

“Cats make wonderful companions for children and adults alike,” said Brenda Barnette, chief executive officer for the Seattle Humane Society. “Cats are independent enough that you can safely leave them home alone for several hours, although they’ll have more fun if they have a companion cat to play with!”

If you have never had the good fortune to love a cat, here are some of the things people say when asked, “Why are cats great pets?”

¨        Cats do not have to be walked outside (but can be taught to walk on a leash!)

¨        Cats are fun playmates when they’re frisky!

¨        Cats make you feel better when they cuddle and purr on you.

¨        Cats are the first to greet you when you come home.

¨        Cats keep you company while you get dressed in the morning.

¨        Cats love you unconditionally and follow you from room to room.

¨        Cats are just so darn cute.

¨        Cats are clean and quiet.

¨        Cats are smart, and can even learn tricks like “sit” and “high-five”.

¨        Cats make great house pets because they listen without interrupting, and they don’t complain about your cooking. 

¨        Cats can bathe themselves.

¨        Cats seem to know when you’re sick, and make you feel better.

¨        Cats don’t get things out of the garbage can.

¨        Cats remind us of how we really want to be; independent, intelligent, confident and able to love unconditionally.

We are asking for your help for the cats this holiday season.  Can you give an abandoned cat a home?  You’ll be glad you did and your kitty will repay you with soft purrs and a lifetime of love.

Visit  www.seattlehumane.org, call (425) 641-0080, or stop by the Seattle Humane Society, located at 13212 SE Eastgate Way, in Bellevue, for more information on opening your home to an orphaned cat (or two). 

The Seattle Humane Society has been protecting people and pets since 1897.  Visit in person at 13212 SE Eastgate Way in Bellevue, or online at www.seattlehumane.org to learn more.

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Rescue | Leave a comment

Cat Stuff Review

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Multipet Jungle GymBy robertas on Cat Toys

Product type: Jungle gym for cats
Product description: Multipet Jungle Gym is a jungle gym made for cats. The dimensions of this product are 30Hx30Wx30D and it is made from nylon and PVC. It has space saving corner design and it also features vertical and horizontal tunnels, fuzzy, hanging toys, jumping platforms and obstacles.Majority of reviewers were satisfied with Multipet Jungle Gym:“I got this after doing some research, it was really easy to put together, and has so far with stood all four of them on it, the kitten chasing her tail in the bottom level of the ‘tent’ part, and the kitten and her sister playing ‘boxing match’ all over it.”“It was very easy to assemble, did it under 10 minutes. The construction is lightweight but for my cat 10lbs it’s just fine. The vinyl is sturdy and the little mice have already been hours of entertainment. For the price, this is really a nice gym.”“This has lots of play possibilities in all the areas, and my two cats love it. I imagine that it is better suited for more than one cat, because the tube and cut out holes encourage hide and seek, and surprise attack play. As far as its flimsiness, it’s designed for a corner, and probably is much better supported there.”Some reviewers had following issues with Multipet Jungle Gym:

  • It is not sturdy enough
  • Some cats will not play in it

Because this product is made from nylon and PVC it seems it is a bit flimsy so it might be too lightweight for heavier cats. Also one reviewer reported his cat did not want to play in it.“My cat hates it, I think he is scare of it, the first time he saw it he was curious like any cat would be but once it was built all he did was go in, smelled it and left. He never played in it at all.”“It was sturdy, but after un-assembling and re-assembling it twice a few of the connecters have broken.”“My kittens absolutely love this thing, but the pieces come apart nearly every time they play on it.”Summary for Multipet Jungle Gym:Overall this product got good reviews. Although it is a bit flimsy as reviewers pointed out it should be placed in a corner. It might not be the best option for pet owners with heavier cats.(Sources: Amazon.com)

December 13, 2007 Posted by | Toys | Leave a comment

Cat Stuff Review

Cat Stuff Review RSS Feed:

Cat Sitter DVDBy robertas on Cat Toys

Product type: DVD for catsProduct description: Cat Sitter DVD is a DVD you can playcat-sitter-dvd.jpg for your cats while you are not home to keep them entertained. This product has been featured in Wall Street Journal, USA Today and on the Daily show.Majority of reviewers were satisfied with Cat Sitter DVD:“My two indoor cats are fascinated with it. You can put it on continuous loop (it’s actually recommended that you play it while you are gone, since cats are distracted by your presence).”“She sits by the television every morning and waits for me to press play on the VCR. She sits intently for the entire hour watching.”“Every time we put it in our cat chatters up a storm and goes right up to the screen watching every little movement. It is a sure way to get our cat out of her slumber and into something she really enjoys.”“It has a video loop that allows the DVD to repeat itself continuously. When introducing the video, it is important to minimalize distractions and it may take a few viewings before your cat becomes used to it.”Some reviewers had following problems with Cat Sitter DVD:

  • Some cats were not interested in this DVD
  • One cat became aggressive after watching it

Some reviewers pointed out that their cats simply were not interested in this DVD, while others only watched the parts that hold some interest for them. One reviewer reported his cat became over stimulated and attacked him when he got home from work.“My cat seemed more interested in the Cat music video than the rest of it. Overall, I’d say that it keeps him engaged/entertained when he’s in the mood to watch it.”“My cats took one look at this DVD and found something else to do.”“The next day, I left the DVD on Loop while I was away at work for over 9 hours. When I returned later that evening, within minutes, he aggressively attacked me–scratching my legs and foot and viciously biting my hand and arm…He has never acted like that in the past and I can only attribute this behavior from becoming over stimulated, and perhaps frustrated, from watching and hearing all the critters on this DVD and not being able to interact with them.”Summary for Cat Sitter DVD:In general reviewers liked this product and it kept their cats entertained. However a few reported this DVD was not interesting enough for their cats. Also one reviewer reported his cat became over stimulated while watching this and started acting aggressively. It will take a while for your cats to get used to this DVD, however you should monitor them at least in the beginning so they do not become overly stimulated.(Sources: Amazon.com, Petsmart.com)

December 13, 2007 Posted by | Toys | Leave a comment

Cat Crazy Newsletter



 Flowers and plants add beauty to any holiday, and they make great holiday gifts. But if your family includes pets, you may want to learn which plants are safe and which ones you need to avoid.

If you have had a cat for a long time you may be familiar with the list, but it doesn’t hurt to refresh your memory. You can also share this information with friends new to the world of cat, or keep their kitties in mind when purchasing floral gifts.

Here is a list of the most common holiday plants to avoid. Remember that ingesting bulb plants often cause the most severe illnesses.

* Holly (Ilex sp.). This plant, commonly found around Christmas time, can cause intense vomiting and diarrhea. Mental depression can also occur.

* Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp). Ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lack of appetite, tremors, drooling and abdominal pain.

* Mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.). This plant, another Christmas plant, can also cause significant vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, this plant has been associated with difficulty breathing, slowed heart rate, collapse and, if a lot is ingested, death has occurred. Some animals may even show erratic behavior and possible hallucinations.

* Poinsettia (Euphorbia). This plant can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and sometimes vomiting. It has a low level of toxicity and is overrated as a toxic plant. Many people consider it basically non-toxic.

* Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, Easter cactus (Schlumbergera or Zygocactus). In dogs, if large quantities of this plant are ingested, vomiting, possibly with blood, diarrhea, possibly with blood and mental depression have been reported. With small ingestions, typically there are no signs of toxicity. These plants are considered low toxicity plants.

If you bring plants into your home, make sure they are in a location inaccessible by your cat. They can all cause vomiting and gastrointestinal upset if ingested. After all, we certainly don’t need any trips to the emergency clinic and unexpected medical expenses this time of year!


Dr. Jon

December 13, 2007 Posted by | Feline Health | Leave a comment